Teaching method

elec2m  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Methods that promote multidisciplinary studies

The Master’s degree programme in electrical engineering provides students with considerable technical and professional knowledge. It offers in-depth knowledge of the different subjects covered in the Bachelor’s degree programme on electricity and expected of electrical engineers (electronics, electromagnetics, communication, system design). It is open to other fields such as

  • Computer science, applied mathematics and automation (the latter having been studied in the Bachelor’s degree programme for students enrolled in the electricity major); achieved through 15 credits of required common courses
  • Electrotechnology, photovoltaic technologies, nanotechnologies, MEMS and NEMS, computer science and communication, biomedical engineering, cryptography and information security via specialised majors.

Regarding elective courses, the programme commission encourages students to broaden their training by choosing classes organised by other programme commissions. Thus the majority of suggested majors are MAPR, INGI, INMA or MATH.

Also of note are the dozen ELEC classes that are open to students enrolled in other Master’s degree programmes on the condition that they have taken introductory classes on electric circuits and electronics or complementary classes in electricity.
To encourage interdisciplinary coursework, there are interdisciplinary projects regrouping a series of subjects from the common core curriculum.

Diverse learning situations

The diverse learning situations include lectures, practical work and projects based on the following approach: modelling-simulation- realisation -experimental validation. Depending on the case, students are encouraged to work either in groups or individually. Of note is the interdisciplinary project that requires students to design, model, carry out and test a system. This project draws upon the entirety of their knowledge in the field of their final specialisation as well completes the work begun during their undergraduate studies (ELEC Bachelor’s degree programme).

Furthermore, in certain subjects, e-Learning permits students to educate themselves at their own pace and carry out virtual experiments.

This variety of learning situations help students to learn in an iterative and progressive manner, all the while developing their autonomy, organisational abilities, as well as time management and communication skills. Modern information technologies (materials, software, networks) are made available to students.

For example, the major in business creation is based on an interactive approach that emphasizes problem-based learning. Throughout the programme, students enrolled in this major must carry out group work as part of multidisciplinary teams. Their interdisciplinary thesis or graduation project permits groups of three students, ideally from different academic departments, to collaborate on a business creation proposal.

The graduation project aims for the most part to integrate students into research teams at the Institute.

Thus, teaching activities are supplemented by research activities and serve as a starting point for the recruitment of researchers (often a graduation project is the starting point for a doctorate, publication or paper presentation).

Depending on the situation, students are encouraged to work either individually or in groups.

Concrete learning: infrastructure

In ELEC courses, “concrete” learning is characterised by student access to high quality technical infrastructures:

The Marconi and Faraday pedagogical laboratories are equipped with the latest in work stations (oscilloscopes, sources, computers) and are accessible to students as part of their laboratory classes and Bachelor’s and Master’s degree projects. In the case of projects including the creation of a prototype by groups of students, access to prototypes of electronic cards (PCB, components, welding) is available.

R&D platforms in the areas of electronic components and communication systems (Welcome) and micro and nano-technologies (Winfab) are accessible to Master’s degree students as part of certain classes and graduation projects.

Computers and work stations equipped with the most recent professional CAO software are accessible to students in the Maxwell building but also remotely from the Engineering School’s computer labs. This software is largely used in classes, APE and projects: design sequences for electronic circuits and microwaves, simulation of manufacturing processes, electronic devices, etc.